Dodger Time

Fort Dodge Senior High sophomores baked goods and made holiday cards for the residents of Fort Dodge Villa Care Center Wednesday.

“We’re going to go over and play some games with them, and have some good interactions with them,” Bobby Thompson, FDSH instructor, said.

The service learning project, one of several Dodger Time activities done schoolwide, was chosen by the students.

“Each grade level will be doing one day of service learning, and the kids just kind of generated some ideas of what we wanted to do,” Thompson said. “The kids came up with it.”

Starting at 8 a.m., the students baked fresh cookies for the Villa Care Center residents, and put the final touches on their Christmas cards. At 10 a.m., the students went over to the care center to deliver the goods.

“Each student is assigned four residents that they will be interacting with,” Thompson said.

The students did caroling, played board games and simply visited with the residents for more than an hour.

Other FDSH sophomore classes participated in service learning projects Wednesday, as well.

Students in Janice Edwards and Scott Sargent’s Dodger Time visited Almost Home to offer assistance, bringing treats and toys they made in class. Students also helped in the school district. Sarah Plagge’s Dodger Time students visited Fort Dodge Middle School to assist teachers with classroom projects, and Aaron Champagne’s Dodger Time students helped in classrooms at Cooper Elementary.

Kevin Astor, FDHS assistant principal, said service learning projects are an important part of the students’ education.

“We’re trying to instill in the kids community service,” he said. “That’s a huge part of being a life-long citizen, and giving back to the community and those who are less fortunate.”

The best part of the effort, Astor said, is seeing the students’ eagerness to participate in the projects.

“I love that they’re doing it enthusiastically. That’s the key,” he said. “That’s a huge part of community. I think that’s one of the things that makes Fort Dodge really good. Since we started I’ve seen some kids, not related to the school at all, ringing bells for The Salvation Army.”

Thompson said it is always rewarding to see his students enthusiastic about the service learning project.

“We’ve got a great group of kids here at the school,” he said. “It’s nice to see they were very enthused about it. They’ve taken the project and run with it. It’s nice to see what kind of kids we have.”